This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
No magic left in Cuba. Cuba’s magic is almost gone. Transportation and food are overpriced. But: you feel safe at all times.
The magic is practically gone. Cuba is almost a “normal” developing country. But Cuba is on the rise: Tourism is growing. Every Cuban tries to participate and earn a few bucks, or CUC. Every CUC makes life better.
What annoyed me?
Two things are always important: food and mobility. Both are in Cuba at German price level.
For a main course, we usually paid between 12 and 20 euros per person. Quality is a matter of luck. These prices are astronomical for locals. That’s why you can’t get useful recommendations. Because it cannot be recommended from personal experience. It is recommended because one got something for it. Either out of friendship or relatives, or because a fee is paid.
Renting a car in Cuba is very expensive. The roads are in very bad conditions. With the exception of suburban buses, there is no public transport system that tourists can use. If you want to move, then you need a taxi. In Havana it did not matter if we took a regular or private taxi, a bike taxi or a tuc tuc. Everyone was happy to have “caught” a tourist and claimed at least 10 CUC. Regular would be 0.65 CUC-centavos per kilometer. I think it is impossible to find somebody who would accept the official prices.
But what annoyed most?
We could not walk a meter without constantly hearing the question: “Taxi?” And with nonstop I mean non-stop.
You can not look at a shop, store, or a souvenir stand without somebody standing on your feet. “Where are you from, my friend?” is the typical question to start a conversation.
But: Cuba is safe
After all the negative points, the great advantage of Cuba should not go unmentioned: Cuba is still safe. Despite all poverty: we haven’t noticed a single evil eye and heard no abuse. Nothing. I felt safe at any place at any time. Where else in the world can you find such conditions?